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Fifth-place Ohio State three points back in the WCHA standings from No. 10 Badgers, in a tie for third

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team plays in its second of three-consecutive home series when the Buckeyes take on No. 10 Wisconsin, Jan. 29-30. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission, as always, is free.

After splitting with Bemidji State last weekend, another important Western Collegiate Hockey Association awaits in the matchup with the Badgers, who also split with St. Cloud State. Wisconsin is tied with BSU for third in the league standings with 23 points and the Buckeyes are behind them in fifth with 20.

KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Video (Fri): Buckeye Vision (OhioStateBuckeyes.com)
This season, the Buckeyes will be streaming many of their home games live online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Log on to the official site of OSU athletics and click on the broadcast link on the women’s hockey page. The live-streaming video is available by purchasing Buckeye Vision.
Audio (Fri): Scarlet & Gray Sports Radio (OhioStateSports.net)
Livestats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
All links are on the OSU women’s hockey schedule page.

SATURDAY: USCHO.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
The Saturday contest between Ohio State and Wisconsin will be the ‘Game of the Week’ on the women’s page on U.S. College Hockey Online (uscho.com). Live video and audio will be available through the site.

BRING YOUR SKATES
Following the Saturday game will be a “Skate with the Buckeyes” session. Fans can bring their skates or rent them from the OSU Ice Rink. Skate with the Buckeyes and autograph sessions will take place all season long following the second game of a home series.

LAST TIME OUT: BEMIDJI STATE
Ohio State split a home series against Bemidji State, Jan. 22-23. The Buckeyes won 5-2 Friday before falling 1-0 Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.

The first game was tied at 2-all in the third period, but the Buckeyes scored three goals in the last 5:24 to pull away for the win. Kelly Wild scored the game-winning power play goal.Hokey Langan had an impressive night scoring four goals and totaling five points. Her line combined for 10 points as Raelyn LaRocque had a career-high three assists and Laura McIntosh set up two goals. Natalie Spooner also assisted twice.

It was a battle in net during game two as both goaltenders made over 30 saves, but Bemidji State was able to score the lone goal of the game. Chelsea Knapp stopped 32 shots while BSU’s Zuzana Tomcikova had 38 saves in the shutout.

BEAVER SERIES NOTES:
• Ohio State took the season series vs. Bemidji State, 2-1-1.
• Last Saturday was the sixth game this season Chelsea Knapp has made 30 or more saves.

HOKEY MAKES HISTORY
Freshman Hokey Langan had one of the top games ever by a Buckeye, tying the Ohio State single-game records for goals with four and points by with five in the Buckeyes’ 5-2 victory over Bemidji State last Friday. The forward from Chatham, Ontario, became only the second player at OSU to score four goals in a game and recorded just the fourth five-point performance in the 11-year history of the program.

Langan opened the scoring at 18:34 of the first, then regained the Buckeye lead 6:18 into the second. She helped OSU pull away for the win in the last five minutes of the third by setting up the game-winning goal at 14:36 before scoring the last two Buckeye goals at 17:32 and 19:53.

The only other Buckeye to score four goals in a game was Natalie Spooner, Dec. 12, 2008 at Minnesota State. The last Buckeye to record a five-point performance in a game was Tessa Bonhomme (1g, 4a), Jan. 5, 2008 vs. North Dakota.

HOKEY = ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
For her outstanding game against Bemidji State, Hokey Langan was named WCHA Rookie of the Week, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday. It was her second award this season and the sixth time a Buckeye has earned player of the week this year.

AND SHE’S OFF TO VANCOUVER
The Buckeyes will be without freshman forward Minttu Tuominen starting this weekend as she leaves Friday to meet up with the Finnish National Team in Colorado. After a week of practice and a couple of exhibition games, the squad will travel to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics that open Feb. 12.

BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State’s offense remains second overall in the WCHA and is fifth in the NCAA with 3.23 goals per game. The Buckeyes also are in the national top 10 in penalty kill (7th, 89.3%) and power play (8th, 18.4%).

Four players have over 20 points: Hokey Langan (37), Laura McIntosh (27), Natalie Spooner (27) and Raelyn LaRocque (24). A total of 13 Buckeyes have notched seven or more points. Langan leads the team with 17 goals, with Spooner second with 13 (4 gwg, 5 ppg). Langan and McIntosh are tied for assist lead (20) with LaRocque (19) just behind.

Rookie Chelsea Knapp has started 22 of 24 games in net with a 10-10-4 record, 2.80 GAA and .899 save percentage.

CHELSEA LATELY
In her last four games, rookie goaltender Chelsea Knapp is 3-1-0 and has only allowed five goals while making 109 saves. The York, N.Y., native has a 1.26 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.

HERE’S TO MANY MORE
A week before Hokey Langan’s four-goal performance, Minttu Tuominen tallied a hat trick at Minnesota State. It was the first scored by a Buckeye since Laura McIntosh had one Feb. 20, 2009 also against the Mavericks. Tuominen entered the game with three goals in her first 16 games played.

The shutout by Chelsea Knapp Jan. 15 at Minnesota State was the first blanking of a Buckeye opponent since a 3-0 win against Bemidji State, Oct. 24, 2008 in Columbus. It also was first time the Buckeyes have held an opponent scoreless on the road since a 3-0 win at St. Cloud State, March 1, 2008.
 
FOUR!
With four goals in the second period against Minnesota State Jan. 15, the Buckeyes tied the team record for goals scored in a period. It is the second time they have done so in 2010, also scoring four in the first period vs. Robert Morris (Jan. 3).

GOING OUT WITH A BANG
Senior co-captains Rachel Davis and Raelyn LaRocque are having career seasons in offensive production. LaRocque has 24 points after beginning the year with a total of 27 in her previous three seasons. She has doubled her career assists with 19.

Davis, who was primarily a defensive defenseman in her first three seasons, has season-bests in points (16) and assists (12). She entered the year with totals of 17 assists and 27 points.

HOKEY HOCKEY
Rookie forward Hokey Langan is in the midst of an outstanding freshman campaign. Among many notable achievements:
• She leads the Buckeyes in points (37) and goals (17) while tying for the lead in assists (20). Langan has already broken into Ohio State’s top 10 in freshman scoring, ranking fifth, and season points by a forward, tying for eighth.
• She is just the sixth Buckeye to post 30 or more points in her rookie season, joining Laura McIntosh (39) and Natalie Spooner (30) who reached the milestone last season.
• She leads all NCAA freshman with 1.42 points per game (good for eighth overall in scoring average in the NCAA).
• Her 37 points lead the WCHA overall. She is second in goals and tied for second in assists, and sixth in power-play points (12).
• In WCHA-only games, Langan is first with 32 points and 16 goals. She has a 14-point lead over any other league rookie.

NO SLUMPING SOPHOMORES
Just 54 games into her young career, Natalie Spooner is moving up the Ohio State records for career goals. She currently has 34 goals to tie for eighth with former Buckeye All-American Emma Laaksonen (2001-04). Spooner previously worked her way into Ohio State’s WCHA career records in seventh place with 28 goals against conference opponents.

With 66 points in her first 62 career games, Laura McIntosh is one point away from entering the top 15 for Buckeye career points and top 10 for points by a forward. She also needs four helpers to break into the top 10 in career assists with 48 so far.

TURNING A PAIGE
Freshman forward Paige Semenza has caught on to the college game with six points on two goals and four assists in the last eight games. The Pittston, Pa., native had just two points in her first 15 games.

THE KILLERS
Ohio State’s penalty kill has kept opponents scoreless in 28 of their last 31 attempts and has allowed multiple PP goals in a game just once this season. The OSU PK is 108-of-121 for the season for 89.3 percent, good for second in the WCHA and seventh in the NCAA.

A LOOK AT WISCONSIN
Wisconsin is under the direction of interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser, who is in her 11th season with the Badgers. Head coach Mark Johnson is away from the team this season after being selected to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Leading UW in scoring is sophomore Brooke Ammerman with 16 goals and 28 points. She is tied with rookie Stefanie McKeough for assists (12). Junior Mallory Deluce is second with 20 points (11g, 9a). Senior Alannah McCready (7-3-0, 1.65, .925) and freshman Becca Ruegsegger (7-6-3, 2.25, .911) have split time in net.

THE SERIES VS. THE BADGERS
Last time the two teams met, Ohio State snapped a 21-game winless streak against Wisconsin with a 4-3 victory (Oct. 23). The Badgers then took game two, 5-3. Overall, Ohio State trails in the all-time series against UW with a 4-38-6 mark.

In the October meeting, Hokey Langan and Laura McIntosh led the Buckeyes with four points on two goals and two assists each. Melissa Feste (1g, 1a) and Rachel Davis (2a) also had multiple points in the series. McIntosh has seven points, including five assists, in eight career games vs. Wisconsin.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes conclude their three-week homestand with a series vs. North Dakota, Feb. 5-6. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.